This recipe comes from my sister’s godfather, Walter Cavanna, who was born in Italy but grew up in Provence. The Pissaladière is a Provençal adaptation of our neighbour’s most famous dish. I remember travelling in Italy with my family, together with Walter and his family. It was very hot, and my mother was tired and feeling rather emotional. Over an evening of Pissaladière she announced she was pregnant with my youngest sister, and my parents asked their friends to be her godparents, so this for me is a real family meal.
Ingredients for the base
- 400g flour (no need to sieve)
- 25g fresh yeast (from the bakery)
- 25cl luke warm water
- 2T olive oil
Ingredients for the topping
- 1 kg onions, finely sliced
- 70g-100g anchovies fillets
- a few black olives (preferably pizza olives)
- Provence herbs
- Mix the flour, yeast and warm water in a large bowl and knead it into a stiff dough.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and mix into the dough. NB: this may seem unusual for people who make normal pizza dough, but it’s a necessary step!
- Form the dough into a ball and sprinkle lightly with flour. Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and let it rise for an hour.
- Peel and slice the onions finely.
- Take a deep frying pan that has a lid and add a splash of olive oil.
- Gently sweat off the onions without browning them. Stir them periodically, but keep them covered to create an unctuous soft mixture, adding a bit of water or more oil as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- When the onions are cooked, let them cool down completely.
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
- Place baking paper on the baking sheet, or add some flour.
- When the dough has risen, spread it out evenly to take the shape of the baking sheet. Use a rolling pin, or a wine bottle, to roll it into the corners.
- Let the dough rest for a few minutes so it rises to about 1cm.
- Spread the cooled onions evenly over the surface of the dough.
- Add the sliced anchovies and olives.
- Sprinkle Provence herbs over the top, or add fresh sprigs of thyme and finely cut rosemary.
- Bake the pizza in the oven for 30 min.
A delicious and very simple dish, using the best ingredients you can. Serve with a salad and enjoy with a glass of Mirabeau Classic Rosé! Bon appetit.